Monday, August 10, 2009

Comparative Adjectives

When we talk about two things, we can "compare" them. We can see if they are the same or different. Perhaps they are the same in some ways and different in other ways. We can use comparative adjectives to describe the differences.

We can use comparative adjectives when talking about two things (not three or more things).

In the example below, "bigger" is the comparative form of the adjective "big":

A1 A2

A1 is bigger than A2.

Formation of Comparative Adjectives

There are two ways to make or form a comparative adjective:

  • short adjectives: add "-er"
  • long adjectives: use "more"
Short adjectives
  • 1-syllable adjectives
old, fast
  • 2-syllable adjectives ending in -y
happy, easy
Normal rule: add "-er"old > older
Variation: if the adjective ends in -e, just add -rlate > later
Variation: if the adjective ends in consonant, vowel, consonant, double the last consonantbig > bigger
Variation: if the adjective ends in -y, change the y to ihappy > happier
Long adjectives
  • 2-syllable adjectives not ending in -y
modern, pleasant
  • all adjectives of 3 or more syllables
expensive, intellectual
Normal rule: use "more"modern > more modern
expensive > more expensive

The following adjectives have irregular forms:

  • good > better
  • well (healthy) > better
  • bad > worse
  • far > farther/further
With some 2-syllable adjectives, we can use '-er' or 'more':
  • quiet > quieter/more quiet
  • clever > cleverer/more clever
  • narrow > narrower/more narrow
  • simple > simpler/more simple

Use of Comparative Adjectives

We use comparative adjectives when talking about 2 things (not 3 or 10 or 1,000,000 things, only 2 things).

Often, the comparative adjective is followed by "than".

Look at these examples:

  • Zakiah is 1m80. He is tall. But Siti is 1m85. She is taller than Zakiah.
  • America is big. But Russia is bigger.
  • I want to have a more powerful computer.
  • Is French more difficult than English?

If we talk about the two planets Earth and Mars, we can compare them as shown in the table below:

Diameter (km)12,7606,790Mars is smaller than Earth.
Distance from Sun (million km)150228Mars is more distant from the Sun.
Length of day (hours)2425A day on Mars is slightly longer than a day on Earth.
Moons12Mars has more moons than Earth.
Surface temperature (degrees Celcius)22-23Mars is colder than Earth.

Although we use comparative adjectives when talking about two things (not three or more things), in fact one or both of the things may be a group of things.
  • Mt Everest is higher than all other mountains.
Here, we are talking about hundreds of mountains, but we are still comparing one thing (Mt Everest) to one other thing (all other mountains).

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Collection of SPM English Language Question Papers

Terengganu Trial [Paper 1]

Johor Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Terengganu Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2] [Answers], Melaka Trial 2007 [Paper 1] [Paper 2], TIMES [Paper 1] [Paper 2] SPB [Paper 1] [Paper 2]


Terengganu Mid Year [Paper 1] [Paper 2],
MRSM Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], SBP Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Kelantan Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Terengganu Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Kedah Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Johor Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Perlis Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Sabah Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Sarawak Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Melaka Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2]


Terengganu TOV [Paper 1] [Paper 2] Terengganu Mid Year [Paper 1] [Paper 2]
Melaka Trial , Johor Trial , Sabah Trial , Kedah Trial , Perlis Trial , Times , SBP , Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

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